View Full Version : Carbon Fiber Twill Weave Fabric

01-31-2011, 02:25 PM

Would this be a good choice for bottom sheathing to increase abrasion resistance? What qualities does it possess and how does it compare to alternatives?


Todd D
02-01-2011, 08:54 AM
I don't think it will help much. Carbon fiber's main attribute is stiffness. It is quite easy to sand though. The ultimate in abrasion resistance is kevlar, but you don't want to use that if you don't have to. It is a real bear to sand. If weight isn't an issue, I would use regular fiberglass cloth, but I would fill the weave and coat it with a layer of epoxy thickened with colloidal silica. That will give you a super hard surface. It will be a real bear to sand fair though.

Tom Lathrop
02-01-2011, 09:24 AM
Carbon would be a poor choice for bottom sheathing for the reasons Todd gave, not to mention the expense. Depends on what kind of boat you want to sheath the bottom on. If concerned about weight, fiberglass or Vectra polypropylene in order of increasing weight and abrasion resistance. For the greatest abrasion resistance, with the exception of Kevlar, but more weight, Xynole is best.

Cuyahoga Chuck
02-01-2011, 12:34 PM
The best abrasion resistant fabrics are types of polyester cloth. But in most other characteristics they are so-so to poor. You don't see them on small boats much because they are tricky to handle and soak up large amounts of epoxy. And their tensile strength is nowhere near fiberlass cloth or Kevlar.
Fiberglass cloth remains a favorite because of what it adds to a hull and it's abrasion resistance is sufficent for most applications. And it has the advantage of being fairly easy to patch because it feathers out nicely with sanding.

02-01-2011, 02:41 PM
If heavy enough, glass will serve well. I've had good luck overcoating glass bottoms with graphite-loaded epoxy. It's available in powdered form from McMaster-Carr.

I've heard that some hard-core drift boat folk have tried cladding bottoms with HDPE or UHMWPE. It's cheap and takes considerable abuse, but not lightweight. G/Flex epoxy can stick it down.